Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Follow the rules

Yien Kivatanak - waiting for the penny to drop in more ways than one
Sad to report that defender Hang Chantrea, whilst playing for Kirivong against Phnom Penh Crown on Sunday, sustained a broken right leg six minutes before the end of the game when he was involved in a accidental collision of legs between his own goalkeeper Kem Makara and Crown striker Kingsley Njoku. He was taken from the ground in an ambulance. The match referee for the game was Yien Kivatank, a referee I must admit I have little time for amongst the Cambodians who officiate at C-League matches. I have documented before his ineptitude on repeated occasions in how he handles situations in matches. He's very card-happy for starters and this is mainly because he has never played the game at a good standard and so fails to understand the game he's trying to control. Take the Kirivong game as an example. Kirivong were leading early on and from that moment used every trick in the book to waste time. Any free-kick awarded to Crown saw one or two opponents stand on the ball to not allow a quick free-kick to be taken. In each case, it took the referee about a minute before he shooed them away. It got so annoying for Crown defender Tieng Tiny that he man-handled one Kirivong player out of the way, only for the referee to reprimand him (instead of the player who failed to retreat 10 yards) and then flash a yellow card. This will now mean that Tiny misses the next C-League game against the Army having accumulated his 2nd yellow card, thanks to Kivatanak's failure to adhere to the policy of making players retreat from free-kicks, and under the Federation's ludicrous disciplinary rule of two yellows = a 1-match suspension. I know that under tournament rules like the AFC President's Cup, two yellows means a one-game suspension but for the same rule to be adopted for a domestic league competition is simply mind-boggling, like so many Federation decisions. 
With the AFC President's Cup taking up the Olympic Stadium this coming weekend, four C-League matches have been moved to the Amy Stadium instead. And with Phnom Penh Crown involved in RHB Singapore Cup action on Wednesday 16 May in Singapore against current champions Tampines Rovers, their C-League match against the Army has been rescheduled for a 2.30pm slot on Wednesday 30 May at Olympic Stadium.

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